Should all the new delivery methodologies and business models come to pass, 2020 could be a wild, wonderful time for consumers – and supply chain managers.
In the following passage from Supply Chain Management Review, Robert Lieb contemplates the future of the supply chain from his backyard in Massachusetts.
“Here I am, sitting in my new hot tub delivered two hours ago by a giant drone. My local Just-in-Time Plumber installed the tub in twenty minutes. I paid him with my “Pay This Guy Now” app and have already posted my review of his services on Yelp. The tub hasn’t sprung a leak, so, he got a pretty good review.
I’m looking out at my backyard and gazing at the separate drone pads that I have for Amazon, Walmart, KFC, Dominos, Wine of the Month Club, and Dairy Queen. Yes, it is a good life. I not only get 30-minute delivery from those companies, but since the pads fill up my back yard I no longer have to fertilize or mow the lawn or fill the bird feeders. Now that I think of it, I haven’t seen any of those pesky birds, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, skunks, wild turkeys or deer in my yard since the third drone pad was installed. Scares the hell out of them. Even better, without a yard I no longer feel the need to host those expensive and pressure-packed backyard neighborhood barbecues.
Another side benefit is that I no longer have to pay my monthly membership at the health club. I can turn the jets on in this baby and that should be good enough for muscle tone. If that doesn’t work I can also use the vibrating waist belt that was delivered yesterday. I’m a little disappointed that I have ballooned up to 350 pounds, but I blame that more on the 15-minute delivery service from Dunkin Donuts. Apparently, not everything runs on Dunkin’ and I love them Munchkins!
I’ve also been able to sell my car. Who needs one? Errands, who does them? I have my groceries delivered through the Internet of Things. My refrigerator is linked to Whole Foods with a pneumatic tube. I text my grocery order on my new iPhone 10 that features a 48 x 36 inch screen and comes with wheels – the groceries magically show up in the fridge. I buy my clothes on line. Free shipping and free returns—yahoo (lower case because, well, Yahoo went out of business)! I go online, find shirts and pants I like, order them in ten different colors, try them on when they arrive, then pick one and stuff the other nine in the postage paid return box. I know the retailer has to pay for return shipping, inspect and repackage everything, then try to sell the stuff again. I guess that’s expensive, but who cares – isn’t that really their problem.”
Read the full article at Supply Chain Management Review